My immediate reaction? I don’t know. I’d say a draw. The winner tonight was everyone that watched baseball instead. The loser? America. We get more of the same from both of these folks. I’d say on balance that Obama did slightly better at pointing out Romney’s flip flopping than Romney did at selling it, but not by much. Their opinions on these issues are very similar. Or, at least, the Mitt Romney that showed up tonight’s positions are similar.
A tie, with a very slight tilt towards the President.
On substance, we actually did though get some important policy notes. First off, Mitt Romney absolutely wants to increase military spending by one trillion dollars. That’s not new. What is new is increasing foreign aid, and making Pakistani aid conditional on, something. We also got a specific budget cut number: 5% to domestic discretionary. And finally, not cutting food stamps.
For Obama, the most important part I think was that we will stand with Israel if they are attacked. A much more cautious, measured statement than Romney.
One final point. Iran with a nuke is so far from our biggest threat. The very idea of it is nearly laughable. Would it be a bad thing? Probably. Biggest threat? Please.
10:32 BREAKING: Mitt Romney won’t cut SNAP. And so deficit reduction gets farther and farther away. His policies are so increasingly absurd.
10:32 Romney: same stuff as usual
10:31 Obama: After a decade of war, we need to do some nation building at home.
10:29 Romney: the federal government didn’t hire our teachers. They really did. For better or worse, the federal government really did hire your teachers.
10:28 Romney just mentioned the same unemployed girl from Philly that he mentioned in the last debate.
10:28 Food stamps and unemployment!
10:26 Romney really did call for liquidating the auto industry. By calling for bankruptcy, that was the only choice. Private capital didn’t want to touch it, that’s why the government had to move in.
10 23: Imports from China: $37.3 billion. Exports to China: $8.6 billion. Balance: $28.7 billion.
10:20 An enormous trade imbalance with China? Is it so?
10:19 I don’t know about anyone else, but China bashing is getting really old.
10:17 Romney: Biggest future threat is a nuclear armed Iran.
10:15 Obama: Biggest future threat will continue to be terrorism.
10:14 On to China.
10:11 Drones. Romney 100% agrees. Ugh. This debate is depressing.
10:09 Yes, he just said Obama bin Laden
10:08 Obama: A history lesson and then jobs for Vets. This debate mostly seems like a draw right now.
10:06 Romney: Aid to Pakistan ought to be conditional on some benchmarks. That’s a pretty important policy point.
10:05 Romney: Hell yes, because this war is going awesomely!
10:04 Will we hold the 2014 deadline for withdrawing from Afghanistan? Also an excellent question.
10:03 Romney really needs to stop arguing about the rules.
10:01 So far I think Obama’s doing a decent job pointing out Romney’s flip flopping on this stuff, but for the most part I think everyone is just going to come away confused.
9:59 BREAKING NEWS: Mitt Romney can stop Israel from bombing Iran by the sheer force of his own awesomeness.
9:58 He should go to Pakistan. People could show him where missiles landed in their kids’ rooms there too. Of course those missiles have American flags on them.
9:56 Israel has a sad because Obama didn’t stop by!
9:56 Mitt Romney has noted the passage of time. Glad he noticed.
9:55 Glad he’s defending against the apology tour schtick. It really is amazingly dumb.
9:54 Now the real Mitt is coming back. His foreign policy is “be tougher”.
9:51 Iran saw weakness in this administration? This administration has attacked Iran more than any other that we know of. Not saying that’s a good thing, but its true.
9:48 A seven point plan! We get two more points! Drink.
9:47 There is so very little difference between these two.
9:46 An absolutely crucial question. And note Obama’s answer. “I will stand with Israel if they are attacked”. I really, really, really hope he means that last bit.
9:43 It actually makes sense that our military is “smaller” than it was in WW2. Mostly because we can now do with a drone what it used to take a couple tank battalions and a month long carpet bombing campaign.
9:41 “Our budget isn’t driven by politics” Oh how I wish that were true.
9:38 Cut 5% of the discretionary budget excluding military. Not even close to a balanced budget. Not. Even. Close
9:37 Well, fuck it, education policy now! Mitt’s Kids ™ are smart! And Bipartisan! And, yet again, a promise to 25% of highschoolers of free tuition. How will you pay for it?
9:36 Seriously someone needs to check on the moderator.
9:35 Baseball is on, right?
9:34 Well, Greece is in fact a foreign country, so, I guess that counts?
9:34 Did someone kill the moderator?
9:33 Twelve Million New Jobs! Have you heard about my five point plan?
9:31 Why bother having a foreign policy debate? We’re on Detroit, energy, taxes, and the budget deficit, now.
9:29 “We don’t know what the world is going to throw at us down the road” Well, I agree. Luckily, we have the biggest military in the history of the world, and can single-handedly vaporize any country on Earth with relatively little effort, so I’d say we’re good on that.
9:27 In the same sentence Mitt Romney deplores the debt and promotes increasing military spending by $1 Trillion.
9:26 If I am correct here, Mitt Romney wants increased foreign aid, while Barack Obama says we shouldn’t spend money abroad while there is nation building to do here. Seriously: Which one is the democrat?
9:25 On young people in Egypt: “Their aspirations are the same as young people here”. Regardless of your views on foreign policy, this is a point that cannot be made enough.
9:22 “Would you go farther?” Excellent question. Romney is against military intervention, but pro-arms dealers. Which is what Obama thinks too.
9:20 Twenty minutes, hardly any disagreement thus far. That’s actually pretty depressing.
9:16 Romney’s strategy: use Syria to get to Iran, without arming Syria, via a council, while arming Syria, and… fuck what was he talking about?
9:15 Wait I’m confused. Which one’s the democrat?
9:14 The Status of Forces agreement was from the Bush administration wasn’t it?
9:11 The 1980’s called, they want their foreign policy back.
9:09 Aaaaand Mitt just stated his support for increased foreign aid. Righteous Tea Party Anger? Anyone? Buhler?
9:08 Right Now Mitt Romney just threw Two Minutes Ago Mitt Romney under the bus.
9:07 It took less than 2 minutes for Mitt to entirely change his tune on Foreign Policy. “We can’t kill our way out of this mess” was a great line, but Romney’s solution to Iran is to start a war!
9:06 “We can’t kill our way out of this mess”. I agree! I wish Mitt Romney agreed.
9:04 Maybe none of the subjects tonight are going to be funny. Just saying.
9:02 Oh God is he really opening this with a nuke scare? This is going to be unbearable.
9:01 Brian Williams just said that “neither campaign expected to see themselves in a dead heat two weeks before the election.” I absolutely guarantee you that they expected exactly that.
8:55 Last one. Local NBC leading with a story about Vintage Wine Bar on 13th St in Philly. Its good, and you’ll need wine for this. Well played, NBC. You know the drill, hit refresh a lot.
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